The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes has estimated that about 64,000 Nigerians are murdered annually in the country with the homicide rate highest in the North-East at 79 and North-Central at 65 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The body stated that the South-West had the lowest homicide rate at 4.4 victims per 100,000 persons.
The agency in its Global Study on Homicide 2019, published on Monday, listed drivers of homicide to include inequality, unemployment, political instability, prevalence of gender stereotypes in the society and organised crime.
The study explained that the figure on the homicides in Nigeria was based on a survey conducted in partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria in 2016, covering more than 33,000 households in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
It observed that the results of the survey provided strong evidence that the level of lethal violence in Nigeria could be significantly higher than reported to the authorities or estimated based on public health data.
The report stated, “On the basis of the survey sample, the annual homicide rate of Nigeria in the period 2013–2016 was estimated at 34 per 100,000 population, corresponding to around 64,000 victims of intentional homicide annually with significant variations across the six geopolitical zones.
“The total homicide rate was estimated to be the highest in the North-East: 79 per 100,000 population and North-Central: 65 per 100.000. With an estimated 4.4 victims of homicide per 100.000 inhabitants, the homicide rate was the lowest in the South-West.”
It further said 464,000 people in the world were killed in homicides in 2017, surpassing by far the 89,000 killed in armed conflicts in the same period.
The report also indicated that the overall number of people who suffered a violent death as a result of homicide increased in the past quarter of a century, from 395,542 in 1992 to 464,000 in 2017.
The UNODC Communications Officer, Sylvester Atere, in a statement on Tuesday, quoted the UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, as saying the Global Study on Homicide “seeks to shed light on gender-related killings, lethal gang violence and other challenges, to support prevention and interventions to bring down homicide rates”.
Fedotov stated, “Countries have committed to targets under the Sustainable Development Goals to reduce all forms of violence and related death rates by 2030. This report offers important examples of effective community-based interventions that have helped to bring about improvements in areas afflicted by violence, gangs and organised crime.”